Initiative hits prison sentences

YOUNGSTOWN – The local nonprofit Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative will launch an effort to end mass incarceration and expand opportunities for people returning home after prison sentences.

The campaign will organize grassroots individuals to pass statewide fair-hiring policies, to restore full civil and political rights to former prisoners, and to move state funding from incarceration to education and substance abuse /mental health treatment.

“Whether through our community, neighborhood or inside our homes, almost all of us have been affected by the systems of mass incarceration, which impacts our ability to live healthy and productive lives,” said Lydia Walker of MVOC and a United Returning Citizens Coalition leader.

“It is now time to take a stand to fight against policies that are enabling the problem and start looking for solutions,” Walker said.

MVOC will be holding a press conference at 4 p.m. April 30 at the Mahoning County Board of Election, 345 Oak Hill Ave.

Tribune Chronicle